Broncos Update Insider - 11/17

The Denver Broncos could use his Javon Walker's playmaking ability to take pressure off the rest of the offense, but he's not going to return to the playing field this week. Read more about Walker and all the latest personnel updates in today's Broncos Update Insider.

Denver Broncos receiver Javon Walker is not going to return to the playing field this week. The Broncos hope he's back soon.

Walker has jogged through warm-up drills in practice this week. After waiting for him to come back from an injured knee since their third game, the Broncos and Walker view that as progress.

Walker has been cautious with the injury, and he said he didn't know when he would return to the playing field.

"Right now, it's just taking it day to day," Walker said. "It's just waiting to see when they think the situation is right."

Walker said he has been frustrated to sit out, but surgery he had on Oct. 19 did alleviate most of the pain in his knee. He said he does still have some soreness, and isn't ready to practice yet.

The Broncos could use his playmaking ability to take pressure off the rest of the offense.

"I'm ready to go out there and help the team win," Walker said. "When you're a competitive person like myself, you get tired of watching football on TV and not being out there to participate."

--Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and Titans coach Jeff Fisher are the two longest-tenured coaches in the NFL. Each is in his 13th full season, but Fisher took over with a few games left in the 1994 season.

Shanahan and Fisher worked together as assistants for the San Francisco 49ers, and they remain close friends. They speak about many things but don't give away many secrets.

"You talk about personnel and people you have signed but stay away from the X's and O's," Shanahan said.

--Before the 2006 NFL Draft, the Titans had the third overall pick and worked out QBs Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart and Vince Young. After it was clear the Titans would take Young, Denver coach Mike Shanahan called Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher, asking him for a scouting report on Cutler. The Broncos moved up in the draft to the 11th overall pick to select Cutler.

"Jeff thought the world of him," Shanahan said the day Cutler was drafted.

Young and Cutler play against each other for the first time on Monday.

--QB Jay Cutler said he recently saw the spoof of himself on the cartoon show "South Park." On the show, two characters are at a party with Denver celebrities, including Cutler, and one of them tells Cutler that his dad thinks he stinks now but will be good some day.

"It was funny," Cutler said. "I was happy to be on it. They can make fun of me if they want to."

BY THE NUMBERS: 10-4 -- Denver's home record on "Monday Night Football" under head coach Mike Shanahan.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a big gratification when you do win and pretty tough when you lose." -- Broncos coach Mike Shanahan on facing his good friend, Titans coach Jeff Fisher.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

The Broncos are obviously looking for the right mix on their defensive line. This week they released tackle Antwon Burton, who played extensively against Kansas City, and re-signed Kenny Peterson. Peterson, who was with the Broncos last year, can play tackle and end. He was released after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on steroids and banned substances.

Denver signed three defensive ends last week, and it released defensive linemen Simeon Rice and Amon Gordon.

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES --CB Domonique Foxworth will continue to have a big role in the defense, whether John Lynch returns this week or not. A natural cornerback who is playing safety with Lynch out, Foxworth gives the Broncos more range in their pass defense.

--CB Karl Paymah played as the nickel cornerback against Kansas City. Jeff Shoate had briefly been ahead of Paymah on the depth chart in the preseason, but Paymah's playing time is increasing as the season is going on.

--DE Tim Crowder should be a big part of the Broncos' defensive line rotation in the second half of the season. The second-round pick was set back due to an ankle injury, but he is fine now, and the Broncos are excited about his potential.

--LB Jordan Beck is a big reason the Broncos' special teams have turned around lately. Despite being picked up a few weeks into the season, Beck now is tied for the team lead with five special teams tackles.

--DE John Engelberger has 33 tackles, tops among Denver's defensive linemen. Engelberger hasn't been a great pass rusher, but he is solid against the run, and the Broncos like his consistency.



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